The Where?

18.5.06

Listening to NPR Radio yesterday on iTunes I was struck by the announcers' vague geographical references when stating station id's and locations.

"This is Steve Smith for NPR from the Capital."

The where? The Capital you say? The Capital of who, what, where and why the fuck aren't you more specific about where you and Washington DC are located? Last time I checked, most of the kids and more than likely adoscelents and young adults in the United States were having trouble identifying jurisdictional boundaries like states and countries. If stating your location on national public radio forgoes the usual conventions of geographic name place, no wonder people are having trouble knowing where anything is.

There is a similar situation in Canada, where provinces like Manitoba and Saskatchewan are refered to as western Canada while so obviously being located in the geographic center of the continent. I've even heard people go so far as to say that Ontario, Ontario of all places, is in Western Canada. Now I know that the Canada that is in all the history books is based a great deal on the battle between the French and English, but really, did this event have enough social political and seemingly physical gravity to displace a compass so that the center of Canada is located somewhere between the Ontario and Quebec border? I think not.

Geographical ignorance spreads out-of-mind problems allowing forgetfulness of just how small this world is and how physically close we are to each other. People need to start understanding that their landfills are within their communities and their governments are within their reach.

People need to learn how to tell direction and do it properly. Lest we let our problems exist in imagined fantasy locations in the back of our minds.


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